Virtual Flow Metering Empowered by Analytics

ARC has been covering the market of multiphase flow for several years though its coverage mainly focused on the physical multiphase flow metering (MPFM) solutions that are designed to being able to measure three or more non-homogenous phase fluids, such as oil, gas – wet and dry, condensate and water.  There are several major multiphase flow regimes recognized when describing flow encountered in oil and gas wells: bubble flow, plug flow, slug flow, stratified (smooth) flow, wavy stratified flow, and annular mist flow.  MPFMs have been around for over two decades and adoption has been slow and, at times, spotty, due to issues of reliability, accuracy, cost, and maintenance related factors.  MPFM units are multi-sensorial and typically rely on multiple different physical sensors as well as some computational capability to assist in reducing the amount of uncertainty in measurements. This blog will be covering a tangential topic of virtual flow metering.

Virtual Flow Metering Solutions – Complementary or Competitive?

As part of its ongoing research, ARC also indirectly covers the market for virtual flow metering solutions as they are often seen as complementary solution to a MPFM and, increasingly, a competitive one.  Operators are increasingly looking to virtual flow metering as the performance of these solutions improve, as does the performance of MPFM units themselves.  ARC is always interesting in learning about and promoting solutions that can help owner-operators, independent E&P firms, oilfield service providers and others to lower costs, improve operational performance, and increase collaboration on an oilfield project.

Analytics are Empowering Virtual Flow Metering for the Better

Arundo Analytics, a software company enabling advanced analytics in heavy industry, and ABB, a global supplier of control and automation technologies, have collaborated to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. This solution will be part of the fully integrated ABB Ability™ portfolio for the oil and gas industry.

“Our customers are demanding lower purchase, installation, and ongoing support costs in their operations. Using the scalable Arundo software to combine physical models with the latest in data science and machine learning, we are able to bring a number of innovative, cloud-based data-driven applications to the oil & gas industry,” said Espen Storkaas, ABB Group Vice President for Offshore Oil & Gas Digital.

Strong Partnerships Provide Real Business Value

For over fifty years, ABB has leveraged extensive physical modeling and simulation experience to deliver analytical insights into the offshore oil & gas industry – this includes modeling flows of individual phases of various intermingled fluids in a single stream. Typically, such flows are measured with expensive multiphase flow meters (MPFMs), which can be a significant amount of a facilities capital expense.

The cloud-to-cloud solution will provide connectivity between ABB Ability™ and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software in order to offer a significantly more affordable and reliable option for oil & gas operators. This virtual flow meter provides analytics as a service to help facilities gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids. According to Storkaas, “This collaboration will give the industry more transparency into their operations while also supporting with the need to find cost efficient, reliable solutions.”

“Arundo’s software is purpose-built for taking desktop-based analytical models into live, online environments in just minutes. This collaboration will give the industry more transparency into their operations while also supporting with the need to find cost efficient, reliable solutions,” said Mogens Mathiesen, Co-founder and Commercial Lead at Arundo.

In a separate move, ABB has unveiled a new global collaborative operations centre equipped with industry experts and enhanced digital technologies.  The new centre will enable customers in the oil, gas and chemicals (OGC) industries to improve operations and maintenance using the services of digital technologies operations experts. Based in Norway, the centre will offer information insights to help enhance customers’ profitability and productivity.

ARC believes that there is tremendous value realized when individual companies bring together their unique strengths to develop solutions and/or services that can help upstream oil & gas companies thrive in the “lower for longer” market that is the new normal.

VirtualCEO and Founder of Arundo Analytics Tor Jakob Ramsøy, Global Head, Oil, Gas and Chemicals for ABB Per Erik Holsten, and Vice-President, Oil, Gas and Chemicals for ABB Norway Borghild Lunde


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 About ARC Advisory Group ( Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

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 About the Author:

Tim Shea

Senior Analyst

As a senior analyst at ARC, Tim’s research primarily focuses on upstream oil & gas automation as well as Digital Oilfield technologies

Tim’s focus areas include upstream oil and gas operational activities in support of the Digital Oilfield including multiphase flow metering, oilfield operations management systems, artificial lift optimization, leak detection systems, drilling optimization, compressor and turbine monitoring & controls, and general field devices such as radar and ultrasonic level measurement devices, and pressure transmitters, among others.

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